Since December Uganda and Nigeria have approaved draconian laws under debate for many years that drastically curtail the freedom and rights of persons whose gender and sexuality differ from dominant heteronormativity. Nigerian President Goodluck Johathan enacted a law prohibiting marriage between persons of the same sex, punishing it with a penalty of up 14 years in a piece of legislation that also prohibits public expression of affection among these perons and restricst their right of free asoociation. The text adopted in 2013 by the majority of the Parliament has triggered a series of violent acts against these persons.
Human rights and LGBTQI organizations have planned a worldwide mobilization for March 7 against the law.
UN High Comissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay visited Nigeria and criticized the situation on LGBT people. Click here to read her remarks during the visit.
In Uganda, despite wide national and international mobilizing Presidente Yoweri Museveni has also signed the law, under debate since 2009, that drastically restricts the rights of persons of non conforming sexuality. The text establishes a penalty of up to 7 years for anyone who “promote the relationship between persons of the same sex” and life imprisonment for same sex marriage. In justifying why he has sanctioned a law that has been extensivelly criticized inside and outside Uganda, the president declared that his decision was based on the opinion of scientific experts.
Days after the decision, scientists claimed that their conclusions have been distorted by Uganda government.
This revamping of criminalization has been widely criticized, including by the potentially detrimental effects it may have on HIV transmission. Repressive initiatives contribute to the vulnerability of gay individuals to the virus.
Protests against the approval of law are also being mobilized in various quarters, such as Kenya, where
mobilized against the law.